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Smiths Detection To Develop Portable Next-Gen Radiation Detectors

Hand-held and Backpack Detectors to Help Protect the U.S. From the Threat of a 'Dirty Bomb'. Credit: Smiths Detection.
by Staff Writers
Pine Brook NJ (SPX) Nov 06, 2006
Smiths Detection announces it has been awarded a contract with a potential total value, including options, of $222 million by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) to provide next-generation radiation detection and identification systems.

Smiths Detection will supply its handheld and backpack Human Portable Radiation Detection System (HPRDS) to the DNDO for use by emergency responders, border patrol agents, customs and coast guard officers and other law enforcement personnel. The detectors can identify and determine the location of incoming radiation and will reliably discriminate between normally-occurring radioactive materials and potential threats.

"Smiths Detection has provided over 135,000 portable detection systems of various types to the Military, First Responders and Customs Authorities. This experience enables the company to rapidly develop innovative solutions to new and evolving threat situations," said, Stephen Phipson, Group Managing Director of Smiths Detection. "It has always been our intention to add radiation detection to our existing capabilities against chemical, biological and explosive threats. We will continue to strive to be the industry benchmark with quality products that help governments across the world better protect its citizens, borders and commerce."

Smiths Detection developed this technology through its relationship with Symetrica Ltd., a company that originated at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton in Great Britain. Symetrica provides unique technology for the detection and identification of radioactive substances as well as core expertise in the design and construction of gamma-ray detection systems.

The DHS has been tasked to ensure that the U.S. remains safe from the threat of illicit importation, development or procurement of a nuclear or radiological device. The DNDO was created to help fulfill that mandate. The DNDO is a jointly staffed, national office established to improve America's capability to detect and report unauthorized attempts to import, possess, store, develop or transport nuclear or radiological material.

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